Thursday, May 5, 2016

Arabashiri, Monzennakacho (居酒屋 あらばしり)

Well, where are we? I've come to the point in life, at least my Monnaka life, where I see slow change over time. And it's all slow, this being Japan (at least until it goes hyper, like the new Shibuya buildings, or Shimokita). So when I go to a new place like this, I have to wonder what it used to be. I was thinking at first that it was the old Shoujou, but now I'm more sure that it used to be this kushiage place Nagomi, which was good and deserved to stay in business. But hell, something else could have come and gone while I wasn't looking. It's been years since I had nights out in Monnaka, even though I've been back every year to say a little prayer at the shrine.  I've been making a big deal of this recently, I know. Bear with me.

Bear with this, alright? I thought the vibe here was funny. Oh, and there was some smorking. I'm so unused to smorking that it really puts me off now, even more than usual, and I don't ever want Catfish and Mrs. Peel to think I smell funny because I was around it. If they think I smell funny because of saki, so much the better.

Anyhoo, funny vibe, kinda distracted staff, and I suppose they didn't know what to make of us, which is very fair. Two white guys in t-shirts (mine, I believe, proclaimed my allegiance to a certain 'Nomura', which is even more confusing) acting like there's nothing more natural than them kicking back at the bar ordering some saki and snaxxx.
Something is clearly going right for them though. They filled in both eyes, which means they made good on whatever wish they expressed when they filled in the first one.

Speaking of which, I still have my old Daruma with the eyes filled in. Next time we go to Japan, maybe the kids will be big enough for a road trip and we can go to Daruma-ji and get it ceremonially burned? It's gotta be bad luck to have it after all these years.
No bad luck here, just the usual clever bottling of Aramasa on the left (they've always got something interesting brewing, don't they?) and the 'Michiko 90' from Yuuki on the right. Any port in a storm. I don't remember much about these.
I remember this though. I took a clever little video of how it jiggled when it was set down, but it's been so long since I used my youtubes account to upload anything that I don't even know what the ID was, let alone the password. But suffice to say that this skybean tofu jiggled comically when it was placed in front of us.
I just love quirky snaxxx, and whenever I see a smoked assortment I have to get it. Because one time I went to a new place and it turned out to be Ishii, and the smoking is amazing there. This was not, but it reminded us of the greatness that exists elsewhere.
You know I don't usually get tokubetsu junmai, but what the hey, it was Taka, and they don't steer you wrong. The one on the right I was going to say I can't remember, but then I realized I can read it, and it's Dai Shinshu. I like knowing the old names for places, it's like a little inside joke that youshare with the whole region, so I have a soft spot for stuff like 'Shinshu' and 'Mutsu'.
I also have a soft spot for strong hands gently molding batter and bits for frying.
But in practice this wasn't impressive. I mean, who can stop eating fried food once it's in front of them? Who can stop eating food once it's in front of them? Not me. Was I starved in a former life when I was a dog? It's been a curse all my life. All my adult life. As long as I can remember. Which isn't that long, really.

Need to get some more steps. Health.
And more sleep, that's what I need. This guy has the right idea in that regard, but unfortunately there was no one in this restaurant and I'm forced to conclude that it's his place and he was passed out from lack of patronage. As we say in the trades, 'Bankruptcy is the likely route,' for him if not for the guys here.

Although it's only 2 months for them as of this visit, so there's still time. 

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